MLB Approves Cubs Sale
The major league baseball owners have unanimously approved the sale of the Cubs to the Ricketts family. According to the Sporting News article, there are still a few hoops to jump through before the Ricketts officially take over day-to-day control of the team, which should hopefully happen before the end of the month.
The franchise still has to go through a 24-hour "pre-packaged
bankruptcy," which the Tribune reports will take place next Monday or
Tuesday. When that step is finalized, the banks financing the deal will
have a "10 day cooling off period" before they have to fund the deal.
When they do take over, Ricketts and Hendry will get to have this conversation (the following brilliance is from Andy Dolan at Desipio):
Jim Hendry: Mr. Ricketts, I need to talk to you about what we’re going to do with Milton Bradley.
Tom Ricketts: Sure, I knew this was coming.
JH: We owe him $21 million the next two years, but
we have to move him. We can’t possibly try to put him back in that
clubhouse with those players. They hate him.
TR: Fine. What are we looking at in return?
JH: Honestly, not much. There are only a few teams
that have any interest at all, and they don’t want to pay much of his
salary, and they don’t want to give up any real prospects. The best we
could do would be to trade for a player with a bigger contract, like
Aaron Rowand or Chris Young, and even then we’ll have to eat some of
TR: So we’re in a position where we’re going to pay a guy to not play for us?
JH: I think we have to. It’s better to pay him to not play here, than have him here poisoning the team and not producing.
TR: So it’s your opinion, that the best solution to
this is to not try to make something that’s not working, work, but
instead to cut the cord and eat the money and bring in somebody better
equipped to do the job?
JH: Exactly. Sometimes it’s the best thing.
TR: For example, you have three years and $9 million left on your deal, right?
TR: So how about this? How about I eat that nine
million bucks, and pay you to not screw up our roster and our payroll
anymore, and bring in somebody else to do the job, instead of having
you try…again…to find somebody to bat lefthanded and not poison the
clubhouse and underperform? Because, as you read in the papers for
months, I need to decide what to do with Kenney. He thinks he’s going
to stay on to handle the Wrigley Field renovations and be your boss.
But I could bring in a baseball guy like John Schuerholz or Sandy
Alderson to be the president, and instead of having them be your boss,
they could just do your job.
JH: Uh…I guess.
TR: Great. Now why don’t you and Crane leak that
to your little toadies, Levine and Kaplan? I’ve got a completely
fucked up payroll to worry about.
Speaking of the payroll, Arizona Phil has updated the right sidebar with the latest estimates. The Cubs are on the hook for $118M in guaranteed contracts and an estimated $18 million if they auto-renew and sign all their arbitration eligible players (which they probably won't). That puts the grand total at around $136M before any dealmaking gets under way.
Trouble Boys, the Replacements bio, is a great option. I'm sure Chad loved it.
Amen Brick. What's the point of following early-season games if you can't over-react to them? What, we should be reading books now?
"Weren't the National considered a near lock last year?"
No, I think you're thinking of Radiohead, The 1975, or Bowie's last album.
Although The National's Greatful Dead tribute is pretty cool.
I don't think they're any kind of lock, though I do expect they'll make the playoffs.
It's not like I'm glad they've gone 4-8. I just don't think it's time to be all that worried -- just like I didn't think they were going to keep playing .730 ball.
vegas isn't a fan of the game because of how erratic and unpredictable it is.
SF has recently won 3 world series many thought they weren't supposed to win...BOS won a world series recently that they weren't even supposed to be in the playoffs for...favored teams with huge wins have seen 1st round exists...fun times.
I think they'll be ok too. But having watched this team since the mid-60s, I never think it's time to conclude, well, thank god the drought is over. I've seen/heard way too many people who follow the Cubs say glad we're finally going to win the Series this year. Please. Weren't the National considered a near lock last year?
Best record in baseball and largest division lead.
I'm jumping right now!
Can we please stop pointing out how ridiculous it is to panic and start panicking in earnest?
,571 winning percentage in May.
I think they're gonna be OK.
RAISIN: All I know is that Oscar de la Cruz is still shut down, and I don't know what his prognosis is, or what the plan is going forward.
Remember just two weeks ago, when "all" they had to do was play .500 ball the rest of the season and coast into the playoffs?
Well I guess if pitchers can keep working the edges of the plate to perfection it will be a long season. But that doesn't seem likely. Rizzo finally, fully, snapping out of it would help.
If I didn't believe in coincidences (or science), I would apologize to Gordon Downie--one of my favorites. Sad news about a great talent.
Hi Arizona Phil,
Has there been any news on Oscar de la Cruz' health?
O&B: Cease was apparently working on his off-speed pitches in his first & thrd innings, because in his second inning of work he just blew the D'backs away with high-velocity gas (that's when he hit 99-100 and struck out the side).